A few weeks ago I deleted my 40K+ Instagram account, why? One reason, well one main reason I had become obsessed with having a high number of followers that I didn’t care how real or fake they really were. I still had around a thousand accounts blocked because it was clear they were there to spam me, and that irritated me, however the rest of the fake followers didn’t bother me, until one day. I got rid of the account and started again, as of the 21st April, when I am writing this at 16:34 I have 330 followers and I follow 154 people. I don’t really do the whole for follow for a follow unless I actually like their accounts, however I tend to like a bunch of photos if they ask for a follow in the comment section, and I just either don’t reply the comment, or I say I just liked a bunch of things.
Since I started my new account I have blocked rather a lot of spam accounts. However I am still having a following that is growing every day. Now I will be honest, I have used bots, but it’s just to get started, I am not to be prepared to pay for anything because it is only Instagram. I recommend using Gramto for a month. It Is free for a month so you might as well make the most of it, what it does is follows, likes and comments for you, every half an hour or so, depending on the speed you set it. Personally the commenting function seems to have the best results, I have a rather generic comment which is something like ‘Super cool photo, keep doing an awesome job.’ Or something like that. I can’t really remember it. Now as well as this I make sure I put something on my story every day, whether a photo or me or some random quote, it might seem pointless but gives you more of a chance to be notice.
Another thing in which I do, is tagging and hashtags, now this is something which can be a little annoying, but it managed to get me having over forty likes on my photo just a couple weeks in to having my accounts, with little or not work. I mean my account is growing with little or not work, to be quite honest. Now my account is mainly travel, but does have a music element to them, I think I will try harder to take nicer photos at music concerts, because I have seemed to done rather a poor job, up until now.
Moving back to hashtags, on my IPad I have a list of tags which are directly related to accounts which repost. Now I haven’t been reposted by any of these accounts, but each of the accounts that repost have hundreds of thousands of followers meaning this hashtags are checked by quite a lot of people, these are if you have a travel blog, this is what the post is going to be about, and maybe I’ll do something about bloggers and music in the future, but for now it is just travel. So here they are.
#WorldCaptures #BeautifulDestinations #PassionPassport #WorldPlaces #TravelStoke #TravelAwesome #DarlingWeekend #LoveTheWorld #ABMTravelBug #AweSupply #ForbesTravelGuide #TopEuropePhoto #MeetTheWorld #DameTraveler
Now I have been given mixed advice when it comes to how many hashtags you should use, and it ranges from using all thirty, to only using between eleven and fifteen. My average hashtags though is actually 15.6 per post. I use this app called Command which rates a whole bunch of things, but I’ll come back to the app in a minute. My travel posts tend to have the full thirty hashtags, while everything else is a lot lower. However on a travel post, nearly all the time I use those tags, this is a recent addition to my feed and as soon as I started adding it to previous posts, I was gaining likes.
Now other tags that I’ll use depend on the city where the photo is placed, sometimes I strip them from a website, in this case a website called ‘The Hostel Girl’ actually where the first set of tags are from as well, so I owe a lot to her. Now the only tags I actually used where for Budapest, and the posts are actually in a queue at the moment and therefore have not been posted. I don’t use them all because some of them are a little too cluttered. Actually I just remembered I added them to my Barcelona posts, and started gaining a number of likes once they were on my post. Here are the ones are used for Barcelona
#IgersCatalunya #IgersBCNb #ClikCat #CatalunyaExperience #Loves_Barcelona #DescobreixCatalunya #CatalunyaGrafias #Ig_Catalonia #IgersSpain #Gf_Spain #HuntgramSpain
Now most of the cities ones are really similar, but you change catalunya to say like London, or Paris or whatever else, and change Spain to say England, or France and so on. I personally think thirty is far too many hashtags, and do actually think my average is about right, however sometimes it is closer to thirty and some time it is a hell of a lot less. I would go to Hostel Girl, because I only picked some of the tags out I didn’t use them all.
Another thing which is kind of helpful especially if you are travel blogs, is tagging, all the first set of tags are connected to accounts. Now I don’t really have a list of people I tag, but I do have a number of go to’s, all which I found by simply typing in the city I was in followed by travel or repost or something along those lines, I feel like it is important to find your own travel Instagram’s to tag rather than giving you a list, because every person’s account is different.
This now ties in to the app ‘Command’ which I mentioned above. The app doesn’t really do much in terms of giving attention to your account attention however it does make you think about things that you need to change. This app basically rates your account in a number of things, I current have an A- from this app, which I am pleased to say, I know one of my lower marks is something which will improve over time, and the other one I didn’t even think about and I am now going to add it to what I need to do to make my account better.
Your account is rated on eleven things and you will revived a grade between A+ and F, not everything on the list you need to care about but I feel like it probably best to try and get an A+ in all of them. The categories are as followed and my little summary about my tips.
Well this is clear, it is how many followers you have, now I current have a low number, only three hundred or so and therefore have been given a D+ in this section. This is the main section and the app will give you a little tip once clicking on the grade, telling you that the rest of the sections will tell you how to gain more followers, and I sort of agree, mainly not solely but with a combination of using Gramto, tagging accounts, using hashtags for accounts which then repost, and liking, commenting and following other accounts, and staying active will help increase this grade in no time.
This is the amount of accounts following you, compared to how many you followed. Mine is currently 2.1 : 1 which basically means for every two accounts that follow me, I follow one. I have a C for this section, but my tip would be trying to keep the amount of accounts you follow user thousand, I have been known to block accounts which have less than twenty post, follow over a thousand people and have barely any followers. I know everyone has to start somewhere but when you are starting out I think it is important that you don’t follow that many accounts as many user will be put off your account if the ratio is too bad.
My engagement is at around 19.045% which is very high in the Instagram world, anything higher than ten percent is brilliant. I have an A+ in this section. So what I should be aiming for at the moment is that I am getting thirty people to like or comment on every one of your posts, but if you use my tips above that shouldn’t be that hard to get. Say you have a thousand followers but you are still getting likes under hundred, check through the followers and make sure none of them are spam accounts, yes you lose followers but it makes your account look better in the long run. Spam accounts normally have only a few posts, often the same things, have low follow account, but follow a lot of people, sometimes they are private, which are a little harder to spot, which is where my over a thousand following rule came around. If your engagement is still not increasing try making sure you use some editing apps, and make them look a little more professional, I don’t use that many apps, my go to are YouCam Make Up, YouCam Perfect and then Photogrid. Command recommends MuseCam and SnapSeed but I have never used them, so don’t know. Following professional photographs is sometimes a good idea to get some inspo, and make reposting, and giving credit to their work is another way to get some likes and comments on your post.
Likes Engagement Rate
Like the section above you want this at amount 10%, mine is at around 17% so is high, also giving me a grade F, I will go into more detail below, but check that your likes are from real accounts as well as your followers, if everything is real then this should be at around ten percent, granted the bigger following account the less your engagement will be, it always seems to be this way. When I had 40K I was getting around five percent engagement rate.
Comments to Likes Ratio
Also have an A+ in this, I get about 0.104 comments for every 1 like, so you clearly don’t need that much comment compared to likes. You don’t want like a thousand likes and then no comments, because it probably means that those that liked your posts are robots, so again go through your likes and check how real the accounts are, you want real likers and real followers if you want a good account. I didn’t have it on my last account, which just meant that it was quite a lonely account, all about getting followers and not about anything else. It was vain and a stupid idea.
I have an A+ in this as well, this app I am using gives a few tips and says if you can produce five high quality photos every day, then post five photos but equally don’t just post five times because you have five okay photos, make sure they are of good quality. I know not every photo on my account is of high quality, I often explain this in the caption and say that I like how it is framed or it is just a great moment that I wanted to share. I use this app called Buffer, which means that I can queue my posts up (Only nine at a time for the free version) which means it is easier to edit posts when I have time and then just queue up posts so that they are frequent. Personally I would say three times a day, eight hours apart is a good amount. That’s what I do, and it means that it can post while I sleep and I can wake and see if my hashtags are working, and if it’s not then I try something else on the next post.
I’ve spoken about this a lot and therefore I think this need to be short. I mentioned my tags per post and I actually have a B using this apps grading system, I am happy with that, I don’t think I need to clutter my posts with hashtags jut for the sake of an app, I get good interaction and that’s the important thing. I might try and get it a little higher, to twenty but any more seems a little pointless.
Tagging locations, especially when you are a travel blog is so so so important. At the time of writing this posts every one of my Instagram post had a location on them (I have a couple lined up which are taken at home which currently don’t have any location on because I know I will clutter up the location area, because I live in such a small area.) I have an a+ on this too, I would keep post at home untagged with location, but everything else I think it fine, and I feel like you should take full advantage of this option.
I talked a bit about this a little up the page, I have about 1.962 tags per post, which leads me with a D- I am currently going through and tagging more, because I feel like this is actually a useful thing to do. If you are wearing a pair of shoes from Nike, tag them in, if you are watching Ed Sheeran, tag him in. Yes they are big companies, and most of the time it might not help at all, but some obscure brands might repost you, which means more followers in the future.
Because I use the free version of Buffer it means that I can’t put my hashtags in the first comment, id I watch the post get posted I often switch the tags to the first comments as quick as I can, otherwise I use leave it as so, this means my average caption score is 200.538 characters, this actually leads me with an A-, I will sort this out at some point, but for the comment I am to going to write long and lengthy pieces on my photos, It is something I recommend because people will more likely comment if you grab their emotions, however if you put the tags it brings your score up, if that’s all you care about.
I have an F for this and I only thought about it a couple of hours ago, because honestly it makes a lot of sense. You see most people square their Instagram post, that’s how it is set up, even if you take a portrait photo or a landscape photo most people edit it so that it is in a square. This is talking about portrait photos, once longer than they are wide. How on your profile it doesn’t mean much of a difference however in the timeline having more portrait photos can actually help. You see although on your profile it will only show a square. On the time like it shows the whole thing, which means that if it is a long photo it will take up more space, and appear larger, thus you actually might get more likes out of this. It is something that never crossed my mind, but I think it is something that really could make a different.
Now this is very long, and I am sorry for this, but I will try and do these sorts of things a lot more, and make them a lot shorter, I will talk about the apps I use in a little more detail but I hope this helps.